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Two Bs or not two Bs?

New logo for Bendigo Bank by AJF GrowthOps

Bendigo Bank is Australia’s fifth-largest retail bank, with more than 7,000 employees serving 1.8 million customers in over 500 locations. Its history began with a building society that formed in 1858 to improve conditions in the Bendigo goldfields during the Victorian gold rush. Over the years, the business grew and took over (or merged with) more than 80 other organisations – including, notably, Adelaide Bank in 2007 – to form the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group, an Australian-owned, top 100 ASX-listed company, with more than 110,000 shareholders.

A key driver for the brand refresh is a strong uplift in new and younger customers joining the bank. The bank conducted “extensive research” to gain feedback from customers and non-customers to ensure the new identity resonated with the market and improved brand metrics.

The old logo had an interesting element in the half-diamond stripes within the B mark. The B easily stood on its own as an identifying mark for the brand.

The name was set in timeless Franklin Gothic, a typeface that is clean and easily legible. Its weight struck a balanced harmony, being neither too serious nor too lighthearted, however I would also deem the typeface monotonous.

The colours were earthy and reflective of the bank’s outback origins, and the particular use of gold in the B – like a nugget in the goldfields – symbolised wealth – no doubt suitable for a bank. The two colours together in 2020, however, were looking a bit dated, like a palette drawn from the 1970s.

Overall it was a robust logo that was appropriate for the category. And with no major flaws, some subtle tweaks could have been enough to increase its shelf life.

The new logo features a custom typeface named Bendigo Sans. Yes, another brand commissions a custom typeface, because all the cool kids have one. You can get a better feel for it by looking at it used in this fact sheet. While I don’t want to go too deep into a typeface critique, my view is that the design of the typeface and its fonts has not been fully resolved. I see unrefined curves, some poor kerning and disharmony in character proportions. But in the more carefully crafted logo, these issues all but disappear. The typeface feels appropriately contemporary and lends credibility to the brand.

The double-B monogram smartly sheds the circle but it’s a pity that the half-diamond has also been dropped – there could have been an opportunity to use it in a meaningful way. The outer B shape matches the outline of the B in the text, so good attention to detail there.

The analogous colour scheme (a safe bet) remains in the warm part of the spectrum, although it starts to become similar to the colour palette of Westpac (a Big Four bank). Thankfully, an image provided by the bank (below) hints at a broader colour palette, and we will have to wait and see how and where the supplementary colours are applied.

On non-white backgrounds, part of the monogram is semi-transparent to reveal some of the colour beneath, and it works well. I am reminded of the double-P mark of the PayPal logo which has a similar effect.

Colour palette
Colour palette
The new-look homepage
The new-look homepage

Overall, the new logo feels fresh and modern, and hopefully is the start of great things to come from the bank.